UCI Applied Innovation Welcomes World Renowned Venture Capital Firm as a New Cove Tenant

Ecosystem Spotlight
August 30, 2017 By Hai Truong

The Orange County innovation and entrepreneur ecosystem has expanded its global reach as UCI Applied Innovation welcomes Cybernaut Green Tech USA Inc. as a new tenant at the Cove. Founded in 2005, Cybernaut is a venture capital and private equity firm specializing in early stage, middle stage, and growth stage investments. The total assets under Cybernaut’s management are over 200 billion RMB (close to 30 billion USD). The company was ranked 15th in 2016 among other venture capital firms in China, and was also recognized as one of the best Venture Capital firms in 2015 by Forbes. Cybernaut has investment funds with regional teams specialized across industries which include green tech, new energy, fintech,  AI, VR/MR/AR, big data, healthcare, medical device, education, and more. Successful investments by the firm include LianLian Pay, the fourth largest non-banking third party payment service provider in China; Focused Photonics, Inc., one of the world’s leading manufacturers of analytical instrumentation for industrial process and environmental monitoring; and Spreadtrum Communications, one of the world’s leading TD-SCDMA mobile phone chip R&D manufacturers.

According to Leo Yong Gao, vice general manager for Cybernaut Green Tech USA Inc., the Orange County office at the Cove is the firm’s first location in the Southern California, preceding two additional offices opening in Silicon Valley and Silicon Beach respectively. Gao shared in a recent conversation that UCI was a draw for the firm to establish an office in Orange County due to the quality of technology emerging from IP generated at the university. Irvine is also a recognized hub for talent from China moving to the area to either build a company, work for an organization, or engage the entrepreneur/innovation ecosystem as an investor through an angel group or VC fund.

Cybernaut’s US-based investment funds are looking for companies stateside that can potentially interact with their existing portfolio of over 200 companies. Gao also noted that Orange County’s companies in the VR/MR/AR, medical device, biotech, and life sciences space had peaked the interest of the firm. As Cybernaut continues to explore opportunities and build new relationships in Orange County, Gao shared that the firm may eventually develop a fund for Orange County-based startups—a positive sign, indicating continued international interest and collaboration around businesses in the OC region.